Normally, the summer break is around 3 weeks. However, due to the teacher strike back in April, that vacation was cut down to just one week for the students. Luckily, I was able to get my vacation approved in advance of this schedule change and I was able to take 10 days away from the comforts of the pueblo and do some exploring of Colombia away from the coast. The following is a recap of the trip itself!
- Upon disembarking from the plane, Derek, Kathleen, and I were instantly greeted with the cool, rainy weather of Bogotá. Needless to say, this was quite a change/shock to the system from the hot, humid temperatures that we have become accustomed to on the coast.
- Met up with a former Peace Corps Volunteer, Alli, who served in Cartagena and led some of our trainings back when we first arrived, and explored some of La Candelaria, one of the oldest barrios (neighborhoods) in Bogotá. We ended up at the Botero Museum, a free museum dedicated to showcasing some of the famous works of Fernando Botero. Botero is famous for his very distinct style of painting, in which he enlarges all of the characters of his paintings on purpose.
- Tried some of the traditional food that Bogotá is famous for, including Ajiaco (a thick soup with chicken, avocado, rice, capers, and crema de leche - probably my new favorite soup here in Colombia!) and chocolate con queso (hot chocolate with cheese - sounds weird, but it's a nice sweet/savory combination surprisingly).
- Partook in a graffiti tour around La Calendaria and the surrounding areas. This tour was really interesting and the graffiti was not your stereotypical tags and attempts at defacing public spaces. Graffiti in Bogotá revered and respected. Many of the works that we saw were beautiful pieces filled with intricate designs, bright colors, and distinct stylistic elements. Despite the rainy and cold conditions that accompanied the tour, this was by far one of the highlights or the trip.
|The oldest street in Bogotá|
- Walked around the Plaza de Bolivar, the main plaza in Bogotá that includes the cathedral, Congressional building, and Presidential Palace.
|Standing in front of the Presidential Palace|
|Survived the mining tour!|
|MC (Master Chef) and her eggplant parm! So good!!|
|Most of the 4th of July crew|